All Globalization Is Local: Countervailing Forces and the Influence on Higher Education Markets
John Aubrey Douglass
Globalization trends and innovations in the instructional technologies are widely believed to be creating new markets and forcing a revolution in higher education. Much of the rhetoric of "globalists" has presented a simplistic analysis of a paradigm shift in higher education markets and the way nations and institutions deliver educational services. This essay provides an analytical framework for understanding global influences on national higher education systems. It then identifies and discusses the "countervailing forces" to globalization that help to illuminate the complexities...
The Educational Benefits of Sustaining Cross-Racial Interaction Among Undergraduates
Mitchell J. Chang
This study examined whether or not students who either had higher levels of cross-racial interaction during college or had same-institution peers with higher average levels of this type of interaction tend to report significantly larger developmental gains than their counterparts. Unlike previous quantitative studies that tested cross-racial interaction using single-level linear models, this study more accurately models the structure of multilevel data by applying Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM). The general pattern of findings suggests that higher individual levels of cross-...
Californians Redefine Academic Freedom, by Martin Trow
This position paper discusses the changes to the UC Academic Senate’s regulations on academic freedom and on policies for teaching potentially contentious or political issues, arguing that the new regulation has not been adequately considered in light of its detrimental effect on academic standards. Whereas previously the university’s policy had stated that faculty were not to use their teaching to "convert" students, the new regulation relies on individual instructors’ "competence" and allows for their politically committed viewpoints instead of establishing any guidelines for...
How Best to Coordinate California Higher Education: Comments on the Governor's Proposed Reforms, by Warren H. Fox
Warren H. Fox
California government is now considering major reforms in the organization of higher education, specifically dismantling the state’s independent planning and coordinating agency, the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC), and placing it and the Student Aid Commission under a new position in the governor’s office, possibly a Secretary of Higher Education. This recommendation is the result of Governor Schwarzenegger’s establishment of the California Performance Review Commission, in February of 2004, to investigate possible reorganization and other reforms for reducing...
What Do We Know About Students' Learning and How Do We Know It? By K. Patricia Cross
K. Patricia Cross
The instruction that we provide, the intellectual climate that we create, and the policy decisions that we make should all start with the question, "But will it improve students' learning?" Basic to any answer is the state of our knowledge about learning. A spate of recent research has resulted in comprehensive and lengthy reviews of surveys of research on student learning; the current model for coping with this information explosion is ever-tighter syntheses and distillations. These "principles" could in turn be summarized as a grand meta-principle that might say something like this: “...
The Merits of the National Merit Scholars Program: Questions and Concerns
After passage of Proposition 209, the University of California began searching for race-neutral admissions criteria that would allow it to minimize drops in enrollment of underrepresented minorities. Concern for underrepresented minorities led to several changes in admissions policies, most notably the introduction of comprehensive or holistic review for freshmen admission at all UC campuses. These efforts to identify criteria that would support UC’s efforts to maintain a racially and ethnically diverse student body have led to another unexpected development. The Board of Admissions and...
An Emerging View on Accountability in American Higher Education
David E. Leveille
Higher education has become the focus of increased public debate. Stewardship of public resources, student achievement or the lack thereof, relationships and “partnerships” with business and industry in the area of research, substantial increases in tuition and fees, public perception of wrong-doing in the quality of programs, and allegations of wrongdoing in financial and programmatic areas have all led to calls for greater transparency, accountability, and impartiality. At root, these issues all concern trust. This paper discusses accountability in higher education as well as the...
The Dynamics of Variable Fees: Exploring Institutional and Public Policy Responses, by David Ward and John Aubrey Douglass
John Aubrey Douglass
Variable fees at the graduate and undergraduate levels are a topic of discussion in the US and in the EU as part of a larger movement towards increasing the role of fees in the funding of public universities. This essay describes this relatively new shift and its causes, outlines various funding models related to fee levels, and discusses the possible policy implications of variable fee structures. Here we argue that much of the movement toward increased fees in places such as the US and the UK is being pursued incrementally, without an adequate discussion of the long-term...
Virtualpolitik: Obstacles to Building Virtual Communities in Traditional Institutions of Knowledge
Digital collaborations are often stymied because institutions of higher education are increasingly divided between two cultures: the culture of knowledge and the culture of information. Campuses primarily remain institutions of knowledge, although practices of information acquisition can no longer be ignored, especially since the advent of networked computing and study with digital texts. Yet the traditional division of labor and the ownership of intellectual property within the academy are threatened by digital collaborations; and the claims of information theory, which is...
Report: Civic and Academic Engagement in the Multiversity: Institutional Trends and Initiatives at the University of California, Proceedings of University of California Symposium held June 10, 2005
Proceedings of University of California Symposium held June 10, 2005
Civic engagement is moving to the forefront of higher education discussions as universities seek ways not only to intensify students’ learning experiences but also to forge stronger links with the communities they are meant to serve. Within the University of California system, there are already multiple examples of service-learning, university-community partnerships, and volunteer initiatives.
In June 2005, faculty, academic staff, and student representatives from across the University of California system gathered at a symposium held on the Berkeley campus to discuss and analyze...
Superstars and Rookies of the Year: Faculty Hiring Practices in the Postmodern Age
Hiring new colleagues is a matter that engages individual faculty members intensely, for peer control of admission to the professoriate has been a highly successful source of academic quality in American higher education. “Super Stars and Rookies of the Year” analyzes the fixation on research acclaim as a negative version of academic hiring practices which has become embedded within the academic psyche. This fixation tends to be aroused by the rituals of recruitment and retention that take place on all campuses. But when recruitment becomes an exercise in what some economists have called “...
International Trends in Higher Education and the Indian Scenario
This paper highlights the political, economic, socio-cultural, ethical, philosophical, legal, and practical aspects of the far-reaching theme of international trends in private higher education, in general. It also focuses on the driving forces, causes and consequences of the emergence of private higher education in India during the last three decades, in particular. Though there has been more acceptance of private higher education institutions in India today than the ‘trepidation’ felt at their emergence three decades ago, certain basic questions about its role remain. Is the...
The Student Debt Dilemma: Debt Aversion as a Barrier to College Access
Though the rise in college student debt often has been blamed on rising tuition, a radical shift in student financial aid--from a system relying primarily on need-based grants to one dominated by loans--has been equally important. Numerous reports have highlighted the burdens faced by students who borrow large sums, but less is known about students who are averse to borrowing. For these students, the increasing prominence of loans could actually narrow their options and decrease their chances of attending and completing college. Given the increasingly important role of student loans...
A New System of Top-Up Fees: A Brief on the Market Response of English Universities and Colleges
John Aubrey Douglass
Fees will become an increasingly important funding source for public universities in the UK and throughout the OECD, caused in part by declining government subsidization and rising costs, as well as by an increasingly entrepreneurial drive by institutions themselves to increase revenues. Beginning in September 2006, universities and Further Education colleges in England and Wales will charge variable fees within limits set by a defined cap and by ministry demands for increases in institutional aid for lower income students. This essay chronicles the response of England’s universities...
The Carnegie Commission and Council on Higher Education: A Retrospective
John Aubrey Douglass
It has been nearly forty years since Clark Kerr was asked to create and lead the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education under the auspices of the Carnegie Corporation. The Commission was to be a national effort, unprecedented both in scope and in the freedom of its director, Kerr, to guide its research and productivity. Carnegie President Alan Pifer promised substantial funding for five years or more. Working with Pifer, and with Alden Dunham, David Robinson, and others, Kerr initiated a great array of studies and provide recommendations on the most vital issues facing American...
The Effects of a Changing Financial Context on the University of California
Gerald R. Kissler
California’s loss of capital gains and stock options revenue during the recent economic downturn was one of the worst in the nation, and the resulting fiscal crisis led to reductions in State appropriations to the University of 15% over the past four years, while enrollments grew by 19%. This article examines the effects of this reduction in State funding and outlines the actions taken by the University of California to minimize the impact of these reductions in State funding. Despite sharp increases, student tuition and fee increases offset less than one-third of the total cut....
Report: Promoting Civic Engagement at the University of California: Recommendations from the Strategy Group on Civic and Academic Engagement
John Aubrey Douglass
The University of California is the nation’s largest and most prestigious public research institution. As such, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to assume a leadership role in an emerging national movement within higher education, translating our identity as a land grant institution into 21st century terms.
On June 10, 2005, over 70 faculty, students, and administrators, representing all 10 University of California campuses as well as the Office of the President, met to discuss this timely and significant topic. This meeting provided an opportunity to examine current...
A survey of 2800 teachers from 33 two- and four-year colleges shows markedly different perceptions of teaching goals and roles. The most significant differences occurred across fields of study. For example, whereas 55 percent of the science teachers said they were primarily concerned about teaching students the facts and principles of their subject matter, only 17 percent of the English teachers saw mastery of subject matter as their primary goal. These and other findings are related to research on college teaching, and suggestions are offered for applying findings to classroom...